Some days, it can be hard. We yoga teachers are in the business of helping people feel good. Feel good about themselves, their bodies, their practice, their poses, their lives. Most days, it is our sheer pleasure. But you know what? We are human. And as such, every once in awhile, our lives go on the blink.
We teach because we are fractured.
“… practice is not about eradicating our frailties, our dark side, it is about accepting our full spectrum. To be large and courageous enough to embrace those human aspects, and stay in our center as these feelings wash over us.”
In her utter honesty, she shared that in her “crushing sadness” after her brother’s death from cancer. She said she got “stuck in being scared,” and wanted to give up. She wondered how to encompass the despair within the sadness, and go on teaching students the joy and vibrant health of yoga.
Of course, she made it through the dark despair, and has become one of the most inspirational yoga teachers in the world. Farhi en-couraged (prompted our hearts) us to be honest with our students about our moments of intense pain, as it helps them with their own grief to see that we are human.
This author has an honesty alert.
I’m scared right now. I’m one of the economic statistics you read about, that you maybe are, too. The unemployment benefits ran out two months ago. I just got notice the house I’m renting is being sold. I’m feeling shaky ground. But, I’m a yoga teacher. This means a couple of things. My income from teaching these days is enough to say, cover food for myself and my two cats, but the bucks stop about there.
While I take Donna Farhi’s wisdom to heart, and sure, my students can learn something from seeing my human grief, if I don’t shine brightly each time they come to class, who wants to take a class from a yoga teacher who is smudged with shades of despair?
I call out to you, fellow yoga teachers and students alike.
When live presents its despair, what tips do you have for “turning that frown upside down” (add this to the benefits of headstand)?
What are some constructive ways to share “crushing sadness” without your yoga class turning into an inflicted therapy session?